IL budget crisis continues, Madigan suggests another stop-gap funding plan

Gov. Bruce Rauner and four legislative leaders attended a Tuesday meeting aimed at ending the Illinois budget stalemate, and plan to continue meeting this week.

However, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters that another short-term, stop-gap spending plan for necessities is needed.

More time is needed for lawmakers to work on a comprehensive budget, he said.

"You'd be able to provide for a good level of funding for education. You'd be able to provide for public safety. You'd be able to provide for the seniors and the vulnerable in our society," said Madigan, D-Chicago.

Republican leaders voiced opposition to Madigan's suggestion.

"We are not going to support any more stopgap budgets. We need to do a comprehensive, full year budget for the state of Illinois," said state Rep. Jim Durkin, R- Burr Ridge, and House Minority Leader.

Republicans accused Madigan of trying to run out the clock. A stop-gap budget passed last July and expires at the end of December.

"We need as leaders to get to the table--the five of us--and make the final decision in order to serve the people of Illinois.," said state Sen. Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, and Senate Minority Leader.

Republican Rauner will not sign off on a budget unless the legislature approves pro-business, anti-union reforms that the governor said would improve the state's economy.

Longtime Speaker Madigan -- whose leadership was attacked repeatedly during recent legislative campaigns -- insisted he will not negotiate a budget that includes non-budget related items.

"Other non-budget items have to stand alone, just by the nature of how business is done in government," said state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago.

Republicans called Madigan's position "confusing" and accused the Speaker of continuing to play politics as the Illinois fiscal crisis worsens.

"There is a responsibility when you're in that room to do the work for the people of Illinois. The campaign is over," Radogno said.

Leaders have scheduled another meeting for Wednesday. Speaker Madigan has agreed to attend, but agendas for each side appear different.
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